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Whose Future Is This?

Whose Future Is This?

In 2013, the futurist Stuart Candy gave a talk at TEDxChristchurch.

Titled "Whose future is this?", he shared the true role of futurists: not to make predictions, but to help people contemplate a range of scenarios.

What are the possible futures? Which ones do we like? Which ones do we want to avoid? If we know where we want to go, we can make choices today that improve our chances of getting there.

This way of thinking can be challenging, and requires us, as Stuart said, to make a safe space for dangerous conversations. He quoted Alfred North Whitehead: "It is the duty of the future to be dangerous." He suggested that it is better to be surprised by a simulation than blindsided by reality.

Given the dramatic pace of technological advancement, lots of us risk being blindsided by reality. So we need to be talking about these things now, in all of their complexity. What are the implications for employment? For education? For government? For humanity?

But Stuart's core message wasn't about whether the future would be good or bad, or how it would affect us. It was more profound than that.

The future isn't some external thing that happens to us. The future is something we are co-creating, every day, with every choice we make.

Stuart's core message was that the future belongs to us.

And, that being the case, we have to own our part.

"The more capacity you have to contribute to shaping the future," he said, "the more responsibility you bear. Whether you are a policymaker, a community leader, a CEO, or a citizen, the same principle applies. If you're thinking, 'Why aren't they doing X?', instead ask, 'What could I do to make X happen?'"

We've designed the SingularityU Australia Summit to be a safe space for dangerous conversations. We'll do our best to ensure that you aren't blindsided by reality. But most importantly, we'll challenge you to take ownership of our shared future.

Are you up for it?

To join us, click here. Let's create an amazing future together.

See you in February, and have a wonderful Christmas.


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